Tags: Are | You | Pickpocket | Savvy?

Are You Pickpocket Savvy?

Thursday, 23 May 2002 12:00 AM

Summertime. It's a time for vacations. It's a time for fun. It's a time for crowded parks and tourist attractions.

But, unfortunately, it's also a prime time for pickpockets.

Here are a few fundamental things you can do, according to the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, to help safeguard yourself from the dreaded pickpocket.

First of all, let's clear up some widespread misconceptions about pickpockets:

When a female member is used on the team, her role is generally to distract the victim by engaging the victim in conversation, etc.

1. The pickpocket target areas are back trouser pockets and suit coat and sports jacket pockets, located both inside and out. In general, a pickpocket avoids front trouser pockets and especially buttoned or zippered pockets.

2. If you have to carry your wallet in an unbuttoned jacket, coat or pants pocket, be sure it holds only what you can afford to lose. Keep large sums of money, credit cards, IDs, etc., in your front pocket or any buttoned or zippered pocket. Some people even place a rubber band around their wallet because the rubber band creates friction and rubs against the fabric of your pocket if someone is attempting to remove it without your knowledge.

3. Never pat your pocket to see if your wallet is there. This just lets the pickpocket know the exact location of your valuables.

4. Larger-size "pocket secretaries" are particularly inviting to pickpockets, and relatively easy to steal.

1. Do not carry your wallet in your purse.

2. Use a purse that is difficult to open. A purse with a zipper or snaps is best.

3. If you are carrying a shoulder bag, place the strap(s) diagonally across your body, as opposed to carrying it on one shoulder. This keeps the purse in front of you, instead of at your side or behind you. If you are carrying a handbag, make sure to hold it close to the front of your body, instead of holding it on your wrist or loosely in your hand.

4. Never leave your purse unattended on a store counter or in a grocery shopping cart.

For more details, please go to the Metropolitan Police Department's website at www.mpdc.dc.gov.

A final thought: It's important to realize that pickpockets are not quaint characters from a Charles Dickens novel, so please don't make the mistake of making the pickpocket's job too easy. If you just take a few simple, everyday precautions, you will make it much more difficult to be victimized.

Remember, your best protection is to reduce the opportunity of becoming a pickpocket's victim in the first place.

"Staying Safe with Bruce Mandelblit" is a regular column for the readers of NewsMax.com and NewsMax.com magazine. Bruce welcomes your security, safety and crime prevention questions. He will answer questions of general interest in his column.

Bruce is a nationally known security specialist, as well as a highly decorated reserve Law Enforcement Officer. He also writes a column for the trade publication Security magazine.

Bruce was recently commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel – the state's highest honor – by Gov. Paul E. Patton for his public service.

Bruce is also an active screenwriter. A synopsis of his latest complete script is available to agents and producers.

This column is provided for general information purposes only. Please check with your local law enforcement agency for information specific to you and your jurisdiction.

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Summertime. It's a time for vacations.It's a time for fun.It's a time for crowded parks and tourist attractions. But, unfortunately, it's also a prime time for pickpockets. Here are a few fundamental things you can do, according to the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan...
Thursday, 23 May 2002 12:00 AM
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